Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rapmaster Rahm spins his favorite hits at Chief Keef


     So in a month that, so far, has seen 274 Chicagoans shot, 45 fatally, Mayor Rahm Emanuel snapped into action and blocked a hologram appearance by rapper Chief Keef because he worried it might be dangerous?
     “An unacceptable role model,” in the words of the mayor's spokesperson.
     That's a joke, right?
     No, it seems real. The mayor is now vetting the role models for black youth in Chicago. Following Rahm's lead, in Hammond, Indiana, police burst in and closed down a music festival Saturday night when the aforementioned Keef appeared, in hologram form.
     “Even though I was told no Chief Keef by the promoters, they tried it anyway. So we shut it down. We turned the power off, we’re closing the park down,” Hammond Police Lt. Patrick Vicari said at the time.
     Yes, Keef, who once upon a time went by Keith Cozart, is vile, his persona an image of black manhood as crafted by the Klan, his songs soporific, a bunch of gyrating toughs flashing guns and wads of cash while flinging their fingers around.
     So what? Since when does that matter? Since when does the mayor get to decide what is performed in the city? When did he earn that right? Did we give it to him, or did he just take it? And what makes any of us confident he'll use that power for good?
     Hasn't Rahm gotten burned by censorship already? Didn't he learn anything after his handpicked Chicago Public Schools chief, Barbara Byrd-Bennett, paused from canoodling her former employers with no-bid contracts, allegedly, long enough to cravenly pull acclaimed graphic novel "Persepolis" from CPS libraries after one complaint, then lied about it?
     How'd that one work for the reputation of the city? "Chiraq" is a compliment compared to the oppressive Midwestern cowardice conjured up by "Persepolis."
     Does Rahm Emanuel have any idea of Chicago's long history of shameful mayoral censorship? We're the city that wouldn't show newsreels criticizing the Nazis because they might foster anti-German feelings. Rahm's predecessor, Mayor Edward Kelly, banned Nelson Algren's "Never Come Morning" because the Polish National Alliance didn't like it. In 1948, Mayor Martin Kennelly banned Jean Paul Sartre's "The Respectful Prostitute," based on its name alone.
     Sis Daley, Richard J. Daley's wife, was able to get Mike Royko's "Boss" pulled from store shelves before a national howl got them put back.
     More? Sadly, there's much more.
     We're the city that banned the movie "Georgie Girl" as obscene, that arrested Lenny Bruce for holding up a photo of a breast at the Gate of Horn in 1962.
     Richard J. Daley blocked the production of movies he felt did not reflect well on the city, and as a result movies weren't filmed here for years. Did that hurt the movies? No, they went to Toronto. It hurt Chicago. Censorship always, always, always blows back in your face.
     Richard M. Daley condemned the movie "Hard Ball" because the kids in it swore. Maybe the kids swore because they knew Daley was planting a fiscal bomb that would blow up the city.
     And the swarm of low-rent buffoons on the City Council is still working up their courage to yank tax incentives from Spike Lee because they don't like the name of "Chiraq." The same august body that condemned Richard Wright's "Native Son." I'd bet you $20 that if Spike Lee called the aldermen decrying his movie and offered them a cameo, not one would turn him down.
     Not one.
     The mayor's office said a Keef concert "posed a public safety risk." So does the St. Patrick's Day Parade. So does traffic. So does Lollapalooza, but that's a bunch of white kids, so the risk is acceptable.
     Everything is a public safety risk. All the oppressions of Communist China are done in the name of security, protests and concerts and books banned because they might disturb domestic harmony. Given that the Chicago police kill more civilians than any other big city force in the country, I'd say a little musical pushback is to be expected.
     You want to know the worst part of this? This elevates Chief Keef, a flash-in-the-pan with cognac dribbling down his chin like pablum. I never had a charitable thought about Keef before. Not exactly the brightest bulb, Keef was the guy tweeting photos of himself smoking an enormous blunt in what was clearly his Northbrook home while simultaneously claiming not to be living there. And now he's Patrick Henry. Anyone going to a Chief Keef concert at least has to be aware of the chance of trouble. Why doesn't the mayor help kids whose only risky behavior is sitting in their bedroom when the bullets come through the wall?

57 comments:

  1. NS, I didn't realize all that censorship took place in the past. Good info. Low rent city council buffoons is right. You probably saw John Fountain's column Sunday about that film and he'd be in agreement. Good for Fr. Phleger indeed.

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  2. Keef shouldn't be censored, but there's something hypcocritical of him stating he wants to help with those lyrics. He's a disgrace.

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  3. Are the Chicago police killing the most because they are being shot at most?

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    1. are the police killing in self defense?

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    2. Actually, the BGA report of police killings the Sun-Times carried a few days ago. by leading with a comparative statistic that didn't compensate for for relative city sizes and focusing on a number from a five year period that was not representative of recent experience seemed designed to give a misleading impression. I thought Rahm's rebuke in today's paper was merited.

      Tom Evans

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    3. Can you state that more clearly please? I'm not sure what you opinion is.

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    4. Don't know if Mr. Evans will respond, but today's S-T article reports Rahm as noting that the headline from the BGA report said that Chicago leads the nation in the police killing of civilians, when, adjusted for relative population, Chicago would be fourth, as is noted in the body of the report. Also, the mayor notes: “If you look at the data, they have actually dropped in the last two years pretty significantly. . . . In the last two years where the comprehensive training has been put in place, take a look at that data" So, he's saying that a simple reading of the BGA report, which covered 5 years, doesn't give proper credit for the improvement over the past 2 years.

      http://chicago.suntimes.com/news/7/71/831209/emanuel-training-reducing-police-shootings

      If I may be so bold, I assume T. E.'s opinion is simply that the idea that the Chicago police are "the worst" when it comes to this is not borne out by the evidence.

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    5. that's better

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    6. Thanks for clearing it up for me. I've been away. I assumed, wrongly it seems, that people who appear hear also read the paper.

      I thought the BGA story an excellent illustration of how statistics can be used to make a propagandistic point. The very same "facts" could have been used, had the writer so intended, to demonstrate that Chicago is less deserving of it's evil reputation than generally assumed.

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  4. Some white aldermen might turn down a Spike cameo offer.

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  5. One can imagine the dangerous types he'd be bringing in to party with on those nice, quiet streets of N.brook. Can't blame those who didn't want him there. He's not like a normal, middle class or upper mid class family of any kind.'

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    1. Actually, I didn't mind him there. Though he rented a godawful box of a house right on Pfingsten. You couldn't pay me to live there.

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    2. I hope your boys didn't go in or near there during party time. They wouldn't have made it out in one piece.

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  6. You may have minded if he was right next door to you having loud parties at all hours.

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  7. Anyone can have loud parties but would other teen or young adult parties in NB involve, gangbangers, guns , etc? prob not

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  8. How about a little exposition? I'd read about Hammond, but still can't tell what Rahm actually did, except by implication here. The Sun-Times link is about Pfleger.

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    1. Rahm pressured the Redmoon Theater into canceling Chief Keef's performance, which is how he ended up in Hammond. Not quite as heavy-handed as cops swarming the stage and pulling the plug, but just as despicable.

      I also think it's an interesting coincidence that the Trib on Sunday ran a "nostalgia" piece about the riot in Grant Park in 1970 over a Sly and the Family Stone concert. A little attempt at historical justification?

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  9. Hey, stop picking on Rahm, Neil. What's the matter, don't you like Conservative Jews?

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    1. and he's not an atheist, so that bothers you

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    2. What does the mayor's religion have to do with this post?

      I notice that, whenever the subject of one of Neil's posts is Jewish, you always manage to drag that fact in, no matter how irrelevant it is. Methinks you're the one who has a problem with Jews.

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    3. Methinks you are wrong, BS.

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    4. BS-no need for brown nosing.

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    5. Mr All knowing BS, why would I support Mr. Sanders for President if I had trouble with Jews???? your mouth is bigger than your brain.

      And to think I used to enjoy some of your posts.

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    6. Anything in the name of political correctness.

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  10. Mr. Steinberg, With all due respect, do you or any of the bloggers here read the Police beat/ city beat/ blotter in the ST or other papers? Read the ST today about a thug shooting at 2 officers and smiling, and another one on other page. Is this all made uip? This is day after day. Oh, yes, those poor gangbanger victims. They must be getting shot at by cops for having their pants hanging down. Get real folks! What did Jesse Jackson put a spell on all of you? Are these thugs never responsible for wrongdoing?

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    1. With all due respect, how does the fact that some criminals are black justify censoring a black performer?

      With all due respect, you're a bigoted jerk.

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    2. "Yes, Keef ... is vile, his persona an image of black manhood as crafted by the Klan, his songs soporific, a bunch of gyrating toughs flashing guns and wads of cash while flinging their fingers around."

      Where in that statement by NS, or elsewhere in this column, did you get the impression that Jesse Jackson has "put a spell" on him? Yes, there are plenty of criminals out there. There are also quite a number of generally law-abiding black citizens being unduly hassled on a routine basis. If you were one of THEM, I'm sure you'd urge someone like yourself to "get real", indeed.

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    3. BS and Jakash, I have a question for you. Do you really believe that a high percentage of shootings by cops in gang neighborhoods, against thugs are the police depts. fault and that usually the thugs are poor, innocent victims of discrimination? Methinks some people aren't reading the city beat or police blotter segments or don't want to know, read or hear of certain other stats.

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    4. Can't you disagree diplomatically, BS?

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    5. I'm speaking about northern cities, not extra racist southern states.

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    6. Like Madea says, BS-you don't know me.

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    7. Jakash, I shouldn't have to explain every word I type to you.

      Hey, we haven't had a debate this good on the main page in a while.

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    8. Yes, Bitter-Im a bigot-that's why I voted for Pres. Obama twice.

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  11. I don't see Afr. Amer. in mid class, mixed race neighborhoods acting like that.

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  12. BS- I never said he should be censored and you have me all wrong if you think I'm bigoted. Maybe you are a judgemental jerk, so get off your self made pedestal.

    Mr. Jakash, it isn't so much in the statement but in the responses to some posts where it seems that NS thinks the A-A's in certain areas are usually victims to the police.

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  13. NS can speak for himself.

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    1. If you have evidence to present that "the Chicago police (are) killing the most because they are being shot at most", I'm sure we'll all take that into consideration.

      "Do you really believe that a high percentage of shootings by cops in gang neighborhoods, against thugs are the police depts. fault and that usually the thugs are poor, innocent victims of discrimination?" No, I don't. Do YOU really believe that it's NEVER the case? More to the point, do you really believe that that has anything to do with the question of whether the jerk Neil is writing about in this post has the First Amendment right to be a jerk?

      "...NS thinks the A-A's in certain areas are usually victims to the police." Feel free to show us where he says or implies that, especially the "usually" part.

      "NS can speak for himself," indeed. If he did so more often in these threads, I might not bother. ; )

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  14. I don't have that evidence, Jakash, but the CPD or their Internal Affairs might. Again, read the crime section of the city papers everyday.

    Of course there is injustice by the police, but aren't some crying victim and wolf too often?

    Thanks for your responses.

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  15. J,


    Are the Chicago police killing the most because they are being shot at most?
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    Neil SteinbergJuly 29, 2015 at 7:24 AM

    Pretty to think so.

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    1. Sorry, but "Pretty to think so" as a response to your suggestion that CPD "are being shot at most" does not equate to "the A-A's in certain areas are usually victims to the police."

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    2. Jak, try to remember you aren't the blog security guard.

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    3. Try to remember that I'm free to respond to whatever comments I want. Fr. Pfleger is in a much better position to determine what kind of entertainment he'd like to book for his events than I am.

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  16. Well some of those topics inter relate. I could be wrong but Im just getting the gist here that the gangbangers are often victims and most cops are bad.

    It strikes me that many who go to bat for thugs probably live in lilly white neighborhoods or suburbs. I don't and it's fine.

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    1. You may be GETTING that gist because that's what you're looking to argue about. Neither the column, nor the comments, have come close to saying "most cops are bad."

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    2. Save your breath, Jakash. It's a standard skip-the-issue technique. Seize on some crazy notion nobody has said -- "Most cops are bad" --and argue that. All I pointed out was that there's a lot of resentment against the cops, and that someone like Chief Keef reflects that. I'm not going to bat for him. I'm questioning Rahm Emanuel's right to vet our music.

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  17. Agreed: Rahm should not be censoring.

    Mr. Jakash, I would be interested in your thoughts on a somewhat related topic- What do you think of Father Phleger being against Keef's concert being streamed into the Sabina gathering for the film?

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    1. debate is good for the soul

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  18. Mr. Steinberg's thoughts on that would also be appreciated.

    Is Phleger censoring too?

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    1. Fr. Pfleger is doing nothing to prevent Chief Keef from performing. He is simply choosing not to display it. Am I censoring the Kardashians when I don't watch their show?

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    2. I agree with Father Ph.

      Usually I don't care for Rahm.

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    3. Just playing devil's advocate.

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  19. I think it would have been great if Keef had said, "Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope." right before the hologram got cut off.

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    1. Wasn't Princess Leia wearing a hoodie?

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  20. What a reprimanding tone you have at times, Coey.

    like an old school marm

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  21. Keef is a thug and probably in jail by now. What talent does he have? No that doesn't make me racist to say that.

    And come and give speeches in Joliet or Naperville:then us far away readers can attend.

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